John Chrysostom vs. Ephrem of Nisibis

In yesterday’s saintly action, Ignatius of Loyola closed the door on Marina the Monk 60% to 40%, paving the way to the Elate Eight. He’ll face the winner of Gobnait vs. Paula of Rome in the next round.

Today John Chrysostom squares off against Ephrem of Nisibis, as bishop meets deacon for a shot at the Elate Eight. Will the Golden Mouthed prevail over the Harp of the Holy Spirit? Well, that’s up to you.

In case you missed yesterday’s exciting episode of Monday Madness, you can watch it here. Tim and Scott dove headlong into the giant sack of viewer mail, plugged books, and reminded everyone on April Fools’ Day, what it means to live as a Fool for Christ — not by anything they actually said, mind you. Oh, and if you actually did neglect to watch Monday Madness, you should head on over to the virtual purple confessional.

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Monday Madness — April 1, 2019

Despite the fact that it’s April Fools’ Day, Tim and Scott aren’t fooling around in this week’s episode of Monday Madness. Or at least not more than usual. In fact, after the incident of April 1, 2017, when some people were taken in by the SEC’s announcement that Lent Madness was canceled, we have learned the hard way not to attempt such things with the Lent Madness global viewing public.

You always know Tim and Scott are desperate for things to talk about when they dip into their Santa sack-sized bag of viewer mail (editor’s note: the use of the term “Santa” is not an endorsement of St. Nicholas of Myra). In today’s show, you’ll learn what surprised the SEC in the first round, whether or not they make predictions about the outcome, and what they eat to celebrate saints’ days. (Spoiler alert: nothing, because Lent).

Holy GroundsIf you continue watching this Gandhi-like episode (in length, not content), you’ll hear Tim blabbing about his new book, Holy Grounds: The Surprising Connection between Coffee and Faith—From Dancing Goats to Satan’s Drink, which releases tomorrow. You can buy it at most disreputable booksellers or on Amazon. You may recall a few episodes of last year’s Monday Madness filmed from his sabbatical in exotic locales, such as coffee farms in Nicaragua — this book is the caffeinated fruit of that labor.

Of course, Scott didn’t let Tim self-promote without making sure our viewers know about his two recent books, co-authored with Melody Wilson Shobe (Walk in Love: Episcopal Beliefs and Practices and Faithful Questions: Exploring the Way with Jesus). You can get Scott’s books from Forward Movement (here and here) or Amazon (here and here) or your local bookseller.

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Ignatius of Loyola vs. Marina the Monk

We’re back for an ENTIRE WEEK OF THE SAINTLY SIXTEEN! Yes, there’s a parallel basketball tournament going on that some folks — even many in our ranks — think is “sweet” or “elite.” But over here, it’s saintly and elate. (For the college basketball aficionados among us, be honest. How many times have you accidentally referred to your other brackets by the wrong name?)

Last week we kicked off the Saintly Sixteen with Martha of Bethany and William Wilberforce becoming the first two saintly souls to reach the Elate Eight. Today Ignatius of Loyola and Marina the Monk wrangle in an attempt to join them.

Don’t forget, to head over to the Bracket tab to refresh your memory on the first round matchups and the basic biographical information presented in the Round of 32. For instance, you can easily reference Ignatius’ victory Tikhon of Zadonsk or Marina’s win against Dominic before casting your vote today. Remember, the informed voter is the wise voter.

Look for Tim and Scott‘s latest life-changing episode of Monday Madness coming later today. Can’t wait? Well, patience is apparently a virtue. In the meantime, go vote!

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William Wilberforce vs. Richard Allen

A week that saw us transition from the Round of 32 to the Saintly Sixteen, winds up with a matchup between a man who dedicated his life to the abolition of the slave trade and a man who was born into slavery. William Wilberforce and Richard Allen square off for a spot in the Elate Eight. Fair? Just? Of course not! Ridiculous? Absurd? Of course! It’s Lent Madness.

Yesterday Martha of Bethany became the first saint to make it the Elate Eight as she left Nicodemus in the dark 74% to 26%.

We were also delighted to note that the three creative geniuses of Lent Madness 2019 did not relegate their talents to the first round. Sr. Diana Doncaster, Michael Wachter, and John Cabot have continued their hymn writing, show tunes, and limericks into the Saintly Sixteen. For however long the penitential creative juices keep flowing, legions of fans remain grateful for your efforts. Bravo!

We do hope your Lent Madness Withdrawal (LMW) symptoms are not too severe this weekend. If you begin to feel out-of sorts or find yourself staring at your computer screen refreshing your browser over and over again pining for Monday morning, we suggest binge watching old episodes of Monday Madness. Or attending church on Sunday dressed up as your favorite Celebrity Blogger.

But fear not. We’ll see you soon enough as things get cranked back up again first thing on Monday as Ignatius of Loyola faces Marina the Monk.

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Martha of Bethany vs. Nicodemus

Welcome to the Saintly Sixteen! From 32 saints we have narrowed the field to 16. For this round, rather than the basic biographical information we enter the realm of Quirks and Quotes. Our brilliant Celebrity Bloggers will provide unusual information or legends surrounding their saints along with quotes either by or about their saints.

Don’t forget, you can always go to the Bracket Tab, deftly managed by Bracket Czar Adam Thomas, to easily find previous battles if you need to refresh your basic knowledge on these saints. This is yet another free courtesy extended to you, the Lent Madness Global Public.

In yesterday’s Santa vs. Rudolph Showdown, okay Beatdown, Nicholas of Myra trounced Rudolph of Gubbio by the historic margin of 92% to 8%. Yes, the bracketologists have diligently researched this topic and determined that this has indeed surpassed the previous largest margin of victory. That was just last year when Maria Skobtsova, the Russian Nazi-fighting nun, defeated Quiteria, the early Christian nonuplet warrior 91% to 9%

The Saintly Sixteen gets started with a Biblical battle between Martha of Bethany and Nicodemus. At stake? The very first spot in the Elate Eight. Let’s get to it.

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Nicholas of Myra vs. Rudolph of Gubbio

After Monday’s cardiac arrest-inducing battle between Pandita Ramabai and Damien of Molokai, it was a bit easier on our Lenten hearts to have a close-but-not-too-close contest to determine the Battle of Rome yesterday. Paula of Rome came out on top, defeating Marcella of Rome 57% to 43% to advance to the Saintly Sixteen, where she’ll face Gobnait.

Today, in the 16th and final pairing of the Round of 32, it’s the long-anticipated Santa vs. Rudolph Showdown, as Nicholas of Myra faces Rudolph of Gubbio. After this battle is complete, will Nicholas remain jolly with his belly shaking like a bowlful of jelly? Will Rudolph’s nose remain bright or will he no longer be allowed to join in any reindeer games? These are the questions of the day as we continue to whittle down the field of saintly souls.

Tomorrow, the Saintly Sixteen begins as Martha of Bethany takes on Nicodemus. But that’s a contest for another day. Let’s go finish up this first round, shall we?

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Paula of Rome vs. Marcella of Rome

Yesterday, in one of the tightest matches in Lent Madness history, Pandita Ramabai snuck past Damien of Molokai despite a virtual dead heat. With over 8,500 votes cast, she won by a mere 45 votes. She’ll square off against Marguerite d’Youville in the Saintly Sixteen. Close observers of this tight contest watched as Pandita staked out a slim early lead, watched as Damien came storming back as the Hawaiians woke up — literally — because of the time difference, and then Pandita’s enthusiastic advocates tipped the scales. Whew!

Today, it’s the Battle of Rome as contemporaries Paula of Rome and Marcella of Rome clash for the exclusive right to claim Rome as their own. Who will end up as queen of the Eternal City? You won’t have to wait an eternity to find out, but a mere 24 hours.

And in case you missed yesterday’s edition of Monday Madness, why not watch it right now? You’ll be reminded of why Tim and Scott are serious when they claim each episode is never rehearsed and always done in a single take. Also, they share the stunning (and true) news that this week we have passed the 5 millionth page view in Lent Madness history. Not bad for a mom-and-pop online Lenten devotion.

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Monday Madness — March 25, 2019

On this Feast of the Annunciation, we are pleased to announce — albeit without the able assistance of the Archangel Gabriel — that it’s time for a new episode of Monday Madness! Yes, everyone’s favorite video commentary on the ins and outs of Lent Madness is ready to air. This week, Tim and Scott (collectively, the Walter Cronkite of Lent) preview the imminent arrival of the Saintly Sixteen, and highlight the upcoming epic concluding contests of the Round of the 32.

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Damien of Molokai vs. Pandita Ramabai

Happy Monday! Grab your coffee and read some compelling stories about two saintly souls as we start another full week of the world’s most popular online Lenten devotion. We didn’t necessarily realize their names rhymed when we paired Damien of Molokai with Pandita Ramabai but, as this seems to be the Year of the Limerick in Lent Madness, it somehow feels appropriate.

On Friday, Photini aka The Woman at the Well made it past Ananias aka The Guy Who Helped out Saul/Paul 64% to 36% to advance to the Saintly Sixteen. She’ll face Tabitha in a sure-to-be heart-wrenching matchup.

Stay tuned later today for another sure-to-be scintillating episode of Monday Madness as Tim and Scott highlight the week to come.

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Ananias vs. Photini

In a week full of lopsided battles, yesterday’s matchup took the A to Z prize as Zenaida routed Apollonia 81% to 19%. She’ll advance to the Saintly Sixteen where she’ll take on the winner of Nicholas of Myra vs. Rudolph of Gubbio.

Today, we round out the second full week of Lent Madness with another Biblical bracket buster as Ananias faces Photini.

In other news, the Supreme Executive Committee was shocked to learn this week that there is another bracket-style tournament making the rounds. But instead of saints, this one features college basketball teams. What is this…madness?! Fear not, friends. The Lent Madness Legal Team is looking into all of our available options. Stay tuned.

Next week, we’ll finish up the Round of 32 and kick off the Saintly Sixteen on Thursday. But first, enjoy some sabbath time as we collectively rest from our voting labors through the weekend. Don’t worry, though, we’ll be back first thing Monday morning as Damien of Molokai faces Pandita Ramabai.

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